Coil Occlusion

What Is Coil Occlusion?

Coil occlusion is a minimally invasive, image-guided therapy used to treat cerebral aneurysms, also known as a brain aneurysm, which causes bleeding in the brain. Coil occlusion can help prevent a rupture, which decreases the risk of hemorrhagic stroke, or treat a ruptured brain aneurysms to prevent re-bleeding.

Coil occlusion typically takes three to four hours under general anesthesia and usually requires a 48-hour stay at the hospital for observation. During this procedure our interventional radiologists thread a thin catheter through the blood vessels to the point of the aneurysm to place soft metal coils. Once the coils are in place, blood clots around them, blocking off the neck of the aneurysm and restoring normal bloodflow. 

How to Prepare for Coil Occlusion

  • Consultation - Anyone undergoing planned coil occlusion must be evaluated by our staff prior to the procedure. During pre-admission testing, we will ask if you are allergic to any contrast. You will also see an anesthesiologist at Mass General to check on your cardiovascular status prior to having general anesthesia. 
  • Contrast - This procedure uses IV contrast, which helps the interventional radiologists see inside your body more clearly. We carefully assess your risk before giving you IV contrast and may run a blood test before your procedure to check your body chemistry.
  • When to Arrive - On the day of your coil occlusion, please arrive two hours before the time of your procedure so we can properly prepare for your treatment.
  • Eating and Drinking - Please do not eat solid foods, candy, gum or drink liquids after midnight on the night before your procedure. 
  • Medication - Be sure to tell us the names of any medications you are taking in advance of your procedure. We may ask you to stop taking or change certain medicines. We may also prescribe medicine for you to take a few days before the procedure.

What to Expect After Coil Occlusion

After coil occlusion, we will have you stay in the hospital as long as necessary to recover. If your procedure was done as a preventative measure, we will admit you to the hospital for 48 hours so we can monitor your condition.

Once you return home, you should take it easy for a few days and avoid any strenous activity for 10 days such as vigorous exercise. Most people can return to a normal level of activity in one to three weeks.